WASHINGTON – A 54-year-old Burlington, Vermont man was arrested Friday on charges that he obtained his naturalized citizenship through fraud by failing to disclose his prior acts of persecution and crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict.
According to the indictment filed in Burlington, Edin Sakoč, 54, committed naturalization fraud by providing false and fraudulent information about his participation the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The indictment alleges that, in July 1992, Sakoč kidnapped and raped a Bosnian Serb woman and aided and abetted the murder of her elderly mother and aunt. He also allegedly aided and abetted the burning of the victims' family home. According to the indictment, Sakoč allegedly failed to disclose his participation in these activities during his immigration and naturalization process.
Sakoč was charged in a two-count indictment filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in the District of Vermont. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison as well as automatic revocation of his U.S. citizenship and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being investigated jointly by HSI Burlington and the FBI's Albany Division. ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center assisted in this investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs and its counterpart at the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Members of the public who have information about former human rights violators in the United States are urged to contact U.S. law enforcement through the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-800-813-5863 or the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.